Chinese New Year fireworks spark a return to hazardous Beijing pollution

By REUTERS
January 28, 2017 09:20

 
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BEIJING, Jan 28 - Residents of China's capital awoke on Saturday to dense, choking smog after many set off a barrage of fireworks overnight to ring in the Lunar New Year, despite limits and public admonitions against such displays in the congested city.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said harmful particulate matter in the air had hit the second-highest level in five years by Saturday morning, the state-owned China News Service reported.

Beijing launched a "war against pollution" in 2014 as part of a central government promise to reverse damage done by decades of breakneck growth and strengthen powers to shut down and punish polluters. Efforts to clean up the skies in the industrial heartland around Beijing are being thwarted by coal-burning industry and indoor heating, which increases during China's winter months.

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